Draft Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

February 15, 2018 Meeting

10:00 AM–11:25 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

David Mohler, Chair, representing Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 9.

2.    Public Comments  

Kevin McHugh (Coneco Engineers & Scientists, Inc.) and Frank Ventimiglia (Town of Ipswich, Department of Public Works), advocated for the inclusion of TIP project #605743 (Resurfacing and Related Work on Central and South Main Streets in Ipswich), in the FFYs 2019–23 TIP. Coneco and the Town of Ipswich, at the request of MassDOT, are updating the 25 percent design materials for this project to comply with current standards. K. McHugh anticipates a resubmittal by the end of February 2018. K. McHugh stressed that this project remains a priority for the Town of Ipswich.

William Paulitz (Engineer, City of Peabody) and Rich Benevento (WorldTech Engineering), advocated for the inclusion of TIP project #608933 (Rehabilitation of Central Street in Peabody), in the FFYs 2019–23 TIP. W. Paulitz noted that this project has the full support of Peabody Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. and the Peabody City Council. W. Paulitz anticipates the submittal of 25 percent design materials in early 2019.

Carl Seglem (Boston Resident) thanked MPO staff members Jen Rowe and Michelle Scott for answering his questions during his recent Office Hours visit with MPO staff. C. Seglem also encouraged the MPO board to emphasize per-person measures rather than vehicle-oriented measures in its capacity management and mobility-related TIP and Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) evaluation criteria. C. Seglem referred to comments he made during the public review period for the MPO’s 2017 Triennial Title VI Report and stated his hope that the Disparate Impact/Disproportionate Burden Policy currently under development will take into consideration not only the impacts of constructing specific projects but the initial comparative conditions before capital projects are built. 

Sheila Page (Planner, Town of Ashland) advocated on behalf of TIP project #604123 (Reconstruction of Route 126 (Pond St.) in Ashland). This project is currently programmed in the FFYs 2018—22 TIP in FFY 2020. S. Page stressed that this corridor is vitally important for economic development in Ashland and the region. The town remains committed to this project. The board of selectmen has voted to pay for lighting and landscaping costs not included in the TIP funding. The Ashland Planning Board is targeting a town meeting in 2019 to revamp zoning on Pond Street to leverage economic benefits. S. Page reported that local residents are very excited about this project. S. Page provided the board with a one-page handout describing the project (which is posted to the MPO’s meeting calendar).

Joe Domelowicz (Assistant Town Manager, Town of Winthrop) and John Morgan (CHA Consulting, Inc.) advocated for the inclusion of TIP project #607244 (Revere Street Roadway Improvements in Winthrop) in the FFYs 2019–23 TIP. J. Domelowicz stated that this project is very important to the Town of Winthrop, as the 0.7-mile Revere Street corridor handles the bulk of traffic in Winthrop that travels into and out of Revere. It is the major route by which most students in Winthrop travel to and from school. J. Morgan added that the main goal of the project is to create a complete street by reconstructing the roadway to include the two signalized intersections that bookend the corridor; the corridor would undertake significant pavement rehabilitation, sidewalk reconstruction to bring curb cuts into ADA compliance, and provide bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The current cost estimate is 3.5 million dollars. J. Morgan anticipates the submittal of 25 percent design plans this spring, and he indicated that the project has no significant environmental permitting or right-of-way issues.

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

There was none.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports—Bryan Pounds, MassDOT, Chair, Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Committee

B. Pounds reported that there will be a UPWP Committee meeting in Conference Rooms 2 and 3 following the MPO Board meeting.

5.    Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Tegin Teich, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

There was none.

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

There was none.

7.    Action Item: Approval of December 21, 2017, MPO Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 21, 2017, was made by the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham) (Dennis Giombetti) and seconded by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Laura Gilmore). The North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (Tina Cassidy) abstained. The motion carried.

8.    Action Item: Draft Federal Fiscal Years (FFYs) 2018—22 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Adjustment Three—Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    FFYs 2018-2022 TIP: Adjustment Three—Draft for MPO Review

2.    FFYs 2018-2022 TIP: Draft Adjustment Three Summary Table

A. Kleyman stated that all the changes proposed in Adjustment Three pertain to the transit programming for Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) and MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA). The changes include:

1.    Replacing a CATA project name to better reflect the completed work and qualify for a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant;

2.    Shifting MWRTA funds from capital to operating expenses to cover over-provided MBTA The RIDE services and a delay in the planned MWRTA solar bus canopy project.


Paul Regan (MBTA Advisory Board) asked A. Kleyman to elaborate on the meaning of “over-provided MBTA The RIDE services.” Joy Glynn (MWRTA) replied that MWRTA provides The RIDE services in their service area via an arrangement with the MBTA and has provided services in excess of this agreement. P. Regan replied that he had believed this was no longer the case. J. Glynn added that she could provide P. Regan with more information regarding this. D. Giombetti stated that it is his understanding that these services are provided only in Framingham and Natick, not in the entire MWRTA service area.

Note: Adjustments to the TIP are considered minor changes, which do not require a public comment period.


A motion to approve Adjustment Three to the FFYs 2018–22 TIP was made by the MBTA Advisory Board (P. Regan) and seconded by the MBTA (Eric Waaramaa). The motion carried.

9.    FFYs 2019—23 TIP Development: Final Project Evaluation Results and Update—Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    FFYs 201923 TIP, Project Evaluations (Final) and Summary Information

2.    FFYs 201923 TIP Target Programming Summary and Funding Update

3.    Geographic Distribution of Highway Funding (TIP, FFYs 200822)

4.    Revised Evaluation Criteria for FFYs 2019–23 TIP Development

A. Kleyman reviewed revisions to evaluation scores for projects being considered for TIP programming this year. The scores of seven projects changed in response to further discussion with project proponents following the MPO meeting on February 1, 2018. All of the changes resulted in an increased score. Because of the revised scores, three projects switched their order in the overall ranking of evaluated projects.

MPO staff will incorporate information from MassDOT concerning the cost and readiness of currently programmed projects and return to the MPO on March 1, 2018, with a recommend list of new projects to program with target funding in the FFYs 2019–23 TIP.

A. Kleyman briefly reviewed the current funding levels for programmed projects included in the Target Programming Summary and Funding Update table.


Dennis Crowley (South West Advisory Planning Committee) (Town of Medway) asked why the evaluation score handout does not show the breakdown of the individual categories for the Transportation Equity criteria. A. Kleyman replied that she could change this in the future, and stated that the basic structure of the Transportation Equity criteria is one or two points for the presence of each of the protected equity populations in a project area. D. Crowley noted that two projects from the region he represents, SWAP, scored no Transportation Equity points. A. Kleyman clarified that to score points in this category, the percentage for equity populations in the project area must be above the regional average percentage, adding that she could provide D. Crowley with the breakdown specific to these two projects. D. Crowley stated that the TIP scoring method is detrimental to suburban and rural areas because they cannot score points in the Transportation Equity category.

D. Giombetti asked why project #605313 (Bridge replacement, Route 27 (North Main St.) over Route 9 (Worcester St.) in Natick) appears first in the Major Infrastructure category despite not having the highest score. A. Kleyman replied that she did this in order to highlight that this is the only Major Infrastructure project currently programmed in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan during the years covered by the FFYs 2019–23 TIP; the remaining projects listed in that category are not in the recommended LRTP.

Note: At this point in the meeting Steve Woelfel (MassDOT) took over as chair.

10.Capital Investment Plan (CIP): 2019–23 Development Process—Michelle Ho and Nicole Tishler, MassDOT, and Samantha Silverberg, MBTA

M. Ho introduced an overview and status update for MassDOT’s FFYs 2019–23 Capital Investment Plan (CIP). The CIP is a rolling five-year document that is updated annually. The process is focused on confirming or adjusting program sizes, proposing changes to projects within programs, and aligning the schedule with the development of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The TIPs of individual MPOs are incorporated in the STIP and the CIP. MassDOT is pursuing improvements to the CIP process, including incorporating asset management data in investment modeling, involving under-represented groups earlier in the CIP development process, and developing new methodologies for both year-over-year comparisons of equity concerns and economic impact scoring.

S. Silverberg (Director of Capital Planning, MBTA), introduced herself to the MPO and provided an overview and status update on the MBTA’s ongoing CIP activities. The four major priorities for the MBTA’s FFY 2019–23 CIP process are to align with a suite of strategic plans, issue an agency-wide call for projects to identify needs and build a project pipeline, review and refine existing projects to optimize use of available funding, and incorporate Transit Asset Management (TAM) data when available. This year, the MBTA is scoring projects using MassDOT’s Project Selection Advisory Council (PSAC) scoring criteria.

M. Ho reviewed the schedule for CIP development, noting that February will focus on ascertaining project readiness and beginning external engagement. The draft CIP will be released for public comment in May 2018.

N. Tishler reviewed the planned public engagement process for the CIP. The public engagement strategy will focus on explaining the process and why participating in the CIP is relevant to stakeholders, both established and newly identified. MassDOT will use direct outreach, meetings, and social media to highlight previous projects and request future ideas. MassDOT will use an online comment tool and hold 12 public meetings across the Commonwealth. MassDOT will incorporate public input and distribute relevant comments within the agency, as well as document major themes and publish them as part of the draft CIP. N. Tishler encouraged MPO members to reach out on behalf of their communities and agencies to engage in the CIP process.


Brad Rawson (Inner Core Committee) (City of Somerville) suggested that MassDOT and MPO staff collaborate to cross-post public engagement materials on their respective websites. N. Tishler replied that she would work with MPO staff to do so. P. Regan added that this information should be on the MBTA website as well.

Nelson Hoffman (Federal Highway Administration) clarified that the Transportation Asset Management Plan will be certified by FHWA in April 2018 and go into effect then, prior to the completion of the full plan in June 2019. (A Transit Asset Management Plan is due to FTA in October.)

T. Teich asked MassDOT and MBTA staff to find ways to clarify what the project lists included in the CIP mean, as well as to improve access and clarity related to PSAC scoring criteria.

11. Community Transportation (CT) Program Development—Andy Reker, MPO Staff

A. Reker provided an update on the status of the development of the MPO’s Community Transportation (CT) Program. The CT investment program has been funded by the MPO via the TIP, with one million dollars in FFY 2021 and two million dollars each in FFYs 2022 and 2023. The CT program includes projects in three categories: community transportation, park and ride infrastructure, and clean and air and mobility. MPO staff has been coordinating with MassDOT’s statewide mobility management and Metropolitan Area Planning Council staff to discuss the state of mobility management in the MPO region. MPO staff conducted a literature review to identify case studies of successful community transportation efforts and partnership models to address first mile/last mile connections. MPO staff has gleaned best practices and preliminary insights, including the importance of focusing on pedestrian and bicycle access to transit and how innovative technologies like mobile dispatch software and partnerships with Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) can improve the management of community transportation programs. MPO staff has launched a survey of peer MPOs and transit agencies to augment this work. After collecting responses, staff will bring a CT program proposal to the MPO board later this year.

12.Planned Stakeholder Engagement and Public Outreach to Support the Development of a Disparate Impact/Disproportionate Burden (DI/DB) Policy—Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Handout: Disparate Impact/Disproportionate Burden Policy Purpose and Current Metrics

B. Harvey reviewed ongoing MPO staff public engagement work to support the development of the MPO’s Disparate Impact/Disproportionate Burden (DI/DB) policy for the MPO’s LRTP investments, in keeping with both federal requirements and the MPO’s transportation equity goals. Throughout spring, summer, and fall 2018, MPO staff will engage stakeholders in environmental justice communities, and the general public, to provide input into a DI/DB policy for the LRTP. The completed policy will outline the methodology by which the MPO determines whether the projects and investments in the LRTP produce disparate impacts or disproportionate burdens.

The current LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040, included a draft policy that analyzed DI/DB for metrics such as travel time, access to jobs, vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. MPO staff plan to hold a series of workshops with stakeholders, including four members of the MPO and 12 participants from organizations that work with low-income and minority populations. These stakeholder workshops will be complemented by a general public meeting. The goal of the stakeholder engagement is to develop a recommendation for a DI/DB policy to bring to the MPO for its approval in the fall.

13.Members Items

D. Crowley asked A. Kleyman to clarify that staff will bring a recommended list of new projects to program with target funding in the TIP at the March 1, 2018, meeting. A. Kleyman agreed that this is true, adding that the programming table provided at the meeting will also incorporate new information regarding the cost and readiness of currently programmed projects. A. Kleyman also clarified that there are no additional projects, besides those included in the evaluation table, that are eligible for programming for the first time this year. In order to evaluate a project for potential programming, MPO staff generally requires at least the level of information available in a Functional Design Report (FDR).

There was some discussion of why there are only 25 projects on the list of evaluated projects. D. Giombetti and D. Crowley stated that the level of financial commitment required from municipalities in order to advance a project to the FDR stage is cost prohibitive for a municipality. A. Kleyman, K. Quackenbush, and S. Woelfel clarified that there are several reasons for why there may be a limited number of projects eligible for scoring not limited to funding for engineering design.


A motion to adjourn was made by the North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (T. Cassidy) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (Tom Kadzis). The motion carried.




and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)

Jay Monty

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Jennifer Raitt

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

David Kucharsky

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Nelson Hoffman

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Brad Rawson

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Eric Waaramaa

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Paul Regan

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Richard Reed

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Aaron Clausen

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Dennis Crowley

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/NVCC)



Other Attendees


Frank Ventimiglia

Kevin McHugh

William Paulitz

Glenn Trindade

Carl Seglem

Bryan Pounds

Frank Tramontozzi

Sheila Page

Joe Domelowicz

Lenard Diggins

John Morgan

Sarah Lee

Town of Ipswich


City of Peabody

Town of Medway

Boston Resident


City of Quincy

Town of Ashland

Town of Winthrop




Travis Pollack

Kasia Hart

Leah Epstein

Joy Glynn

Nikki Tishler







MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Karl Quackenbush, Executive Director

Robin Mannion

Lourenço Dantas

Róisín Foley

Betsy Harvey

Sandy Johnston

Ali Kleyman

Anne McGahan

Scott Peterson

Jen Rowe

Michelle Scott